Recently, when Shabana Azmi handed over keys for new homes to the last lot of rehabilitated slum-dwellers who fell under the Nivara Hakk scheme, it was Sunil Dutt’s daughter Priya Dutt who did the needful.
Says Shabana emotionally, “This was the fourth phase of our housing scheme. It is the largest rehabilitation project in Asia. And we requested Priya Dutt to hand over the keys. It was quite touching to see us two daughters carrying on the legacy of our fathers.”
Shabana known to be an outstanding public speaker was very impressed by Priya’s oratorical skills. “I heard Priya speak in public for the first time. I was very moved. She sounded as sincere and honest as Dutt Saab.”
Earlier, Priya’s father Sunil Dutt and Shabana have been jointly involved in various projects, in their political and non-political capacities, respectively. Shabana chose Priya for this occasion because of their mutual commitment to social welfare.
Says Shabana, “My NGO Nivara Hakk has given 12,000 homes for free, to the slum dwellers ousted from Borivli National Park. It’s tripartite pact among the Government of Maharashtra, the private builders Sumer Corporation and Nivara Hakk. And it was very nice to have Priya along. She is the MP of the area and shares our vision of what needs to be done for the upgradation of the slums. It’s a huge project and we wish to build alliances with likeminded people, like Priya.”
Shabana and Priya have in fact formed a new bonding of likeminded sisters, who are unified in their penchant for social causes, which they’ve inherited from their father Kaifi Azmi and Sunil Dutt respectively.